Erdogan Maintains Turkey Coup Plotted from 'Outside'
by VOA News August 02, 2016
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan restated that the failed coup attempt last month was plotted outside the country.
"This coup was not just an event planned from the inside," Erdogan said in a televised address. "The actors inside acted out a scenario for a coup written from the outside."
The accusations are likely in reference to Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen, an Erdogan opponent who has lived in the United States for nearly two decades and has denied any connection in the uprising.
Turkey has demanded the U.S. extradite the 75-year-old Gulen and sent documents on his alleged involvement in the failed coup to U.S. officials.
Erdogan also accused the West of supporting terrorism, one of the harshest criticisms of his Western allies since the attempted coup on July 15.
"Unfortunately, the West is supporting terror and standing by the coup plotters," he said. "Those who we imagined to be friends are standing by the coup plotters and by the terrorists."
Erdogan specifically accused the European Union of failing to live up to its promises in compensating Turkey for curbing illegal immigration, despite what he claims as great success by the government on this issue.
More than 50,000 people have now lost their jobs across the country and more than 18,000 have been detained in connection with the coup attempt – vast numbers that have drawn criticism and concern from Western governments and human rights groups.
The unsuccessful coup attempt has already cost the country's economy about $100 million, according to Turkey's trade minister.
Bulent Tufenkci, Turkey's customs and commerce minister, said the direct cost of the actions taken by the government and the ensuing destruction of buildings and property was around $100 million, but "it might go up even more."
Tufenkci told the Hurriyet newspaper that Turkish businesses had already seen foreign orders cancelled in the wake of the coup attempt, and the lack of faith investors now have in the government could cost the country even more money.
"The putschists made Turkey seem like a third world country," he said. "They [investors] are not coming after the images revealed tanks were deployed on the streets, parliament was bombed."
He was optimistic about the future, though, praising the government's response to the attempted overthrow, and arguing that if the coup had "taken place in another country, markets wouldn't have opened earlier than in a week." In Turkey, there was little market disruption with the coup attempt falling on Friday July 15, and markets opening as they usually do the following Monday.
"The interest rates didn't rise extraordinarily. The stock exchange's losses have been limited. There's no need to revise growth or export figures. The nation has stood firm," he said.
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